Exchanging the old girl for a new model (zander article, entry 222)

With the miles adding up, it was time to say goodbye to my old faithful Rover 45 and look for a new car. I guess everyone that is in the market for a car has certain things that they consider as essentials. It may be something very aesthetic such as bodywork or it may be of a more technical nature concerning the engine performance. But for me there is one question that is more important than anything else – can I get all my fishing tackle in the back?

 And that’s why Rovers, where I can drop the back seats to give a decent space, have been my first choice for a number of years now. In fact, this current exchange was just to a newer car. Even when I was at the garage, the salesman made reference to getting my fishing stuff in the back and so did the mechanic who works on my cars when I take them in. They certainly know me well enough to know where my priority lies in terms of what I am looking for.

 So this week’s article is where my red Rover makes its last journey ever on a fishing trip – that is unless the new owner is also an angler. But assuming not, then it was a final farewell as far as piscatorial duty was concerned, but so that it wouldn’t be forgotten, I included it in the backdrop of the two fish that I caught. Plus in last week’s entry it had a full length shot rather than just a section. It’s been a good car, but it’s time to move on to something with less miles.

 

I couldn’t believe it was October as I sat by the side of the River Severn in shorts and short sleeved shirt. Mind you, I fish like that very often in the middle of winter when on overnighters, courtesy of a lovely warm sleeping bag. Earlier this year some clever clogs thought he had caught me out because of an April photograph where I was wearing short sleeves. I had to laugh to myself. I mean, April. It’s practically summer for me.

 The Severn was low and sluggish and so the lack of flow made it ideal for zander fishing, as I was able to fish with a light lead and still have no problems as far as current was concerned. I caught a couple of fish, only small ones but good confidence builders. I am hoping (conditions permitting) to give the lower Severn zander a good go over the next few weeks, and even to tackle the specimen roach as well.

 I did some roach fishing this time, but specifically after small fish to use as livebaits. On one occasion, rather than the quick tap of a small roach sucking the maggot, I had a powerful pull that took the rod top down and it stayed there. I found myself striking into a very good fish that plodded around in a relatively small area, considering that on light roach gear it had the potential to head towards Tewkesbury and there was nothing I could have done to stop it.

 

Eventually I was confronted with a carp in the mid-double to twenty pound bracket that had submitted on the surface and was allowing me to draw it closer and closer to the waiting net. It was a dead weight and was proving to be a real handful. About a length or two out though, after I’d done all the hard work, the tip of my rod snapped. And as it did so the slack of the line resulted in a hook pull. Just for a moment the carp lay there on the surface, before submerging back to its watery home.

 Funnily enough I didn’t feel devastated. I would have done if it were a similar sized zander though, that’s for sure. But after the two daytime fish, nothing else was forthcoming during darkness. One positive thing about this time of the year is that you can fish a deadbait without it being stripped by eels within minutes. In the middle of the summer any fish cast out is dealt with like a shoal of Amazon piranha on the prowl, being devoured in no time at all.

 As I was due to collect my new car the next day, I didn’t fish through the night, instead packing away about 11.00pm. Not having a shelter over my head, and with it being dry not even an umbrella, it meant that I was able to take full advantage of any birds in the area. The highlight was a barn owl that flew downstream a couple of hours into dark, which later (assuming it was the same bird) sat calling from an oak tree just twenty metres away.

*** From this week I am introducing a short video clip addition to each article. It’s not very hi-tech, just me on my cheap camera. This week’s is The Lower Severn

(Originally published October 2007)

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